CD Review: "Wizard of This"

CD: Wizard of This
Artist: Pat Pat

Maybe it’s the nondescript name of Pat Pat, maybe named after bassist Patrick Spragg.

But Wizard of This -- the debut CD from the Morgantown-based trio Pat Pat is one of the more surprisingly awesome CDs we’ve heard all year. This relatively new band -- Brian Spragg (It’s Birds), Pat Spragg, and drummer Evan Devine (Megatouch, Ancient Shores) haven’t been playing out as a unit long, but this effort is a more than promising debut.

We’d heard about Pat Pat, of course, in the normal course of stringing stuff together for local shows; they recently played in Huntington if memory serves, and we’d been on their MySpace, where they’ve uploaded a song to tease potential fans, but it wasn’t until Tucker Riggleman pointed out Pat Pat’s bandcamp page that we were able to get the full taste of what these guys were going for.

Nine songs of catchy, high energy (mostly) post-punk jams with math rock-sounding progressions, and assorted weirdness in parts. Is that even a sentence? It’s what seems to permeate Wizard of This. Some parts seem to even have a grunge sound, if you listen to the record online, you just might hear a kind of Sonic Youth tone or something.

“Windham” and “WOEFAS” are two standout tracks; the former’s heavy groove, fat, distorted bass intro and the latter’s catchy chorus about Abby Sunderland (?), each with some insane noodling and/or tapping in parts.

“Dup” and “Osu” (“Oh, Sue”) start the CD off nice with that rockin’ kind of post punk sound. “Osu” has a spacey, jammed out bridge part back into thrash ending.

“The Wavemaker Falters” is a great song -- near haunting strumming opens and the song branches out and grows into a great jam

One song that kind of sounds like It’s Birds is “It’s The Salt,” with its Casio keyboard drum intro interspersing pummeling rhythm section, and nihilistic-type lyrics:
“You’ve got no right to your opinion
You’ve got no rights here
You’ve got no ground to speak from
You’ve got no voice”
One of the neat things Spragg does in It’s Birds and now in Pat Pat is bring challenging progressions and changes into the songs -- the songs on Wizard are catchy, and still in a pretty much rock song structure format -- but keep you on your listening toes, as it seems like the songs could break out into extended jams at any point seemingly but pull back together and keep the song moving.

Recorded in Pittsburgh with David Klug, it’ll be interesting to see what comes of Pat Pat. We recently heard that It’s Birds is playing their last show next month in Morgantown, but Wizard of This is a great CD to start things off with. The holidays are fast approaching and a burned copy of this would make a fine gift to that local rock goon in your family. Swing by the Pat Pat bandcamp page to download Wizard of This if you’re so inclined.

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